It’s snow time

This winter my resolution is to “appreciate winter”. I laughed as soon as I heard myself say it. I’m sitting by the window in the living room where I have a great view of terrible drivers and it’s snowing.

I don’t like being cold, I hate summer even more. I don’t enjoy being outside during summer or winter which basically means I’m screwed. My time is during fall and spring, that’s about 4 weeks combined as we often seem to skip both! That being said, I do love watching snow fall. The most ordinary and familiar Canadian scene. Big, fluffy flakes blowing in wild patterns and vanishing as soon as they hit the ground.

Every winter as soon as it starts to snow, if I’m home the first thing I do is run to my mom and tell her “Look it’s snowing!” and then for the next 10 minutes she rants about how this winter is going to be the worst winter of all time as she claims she heard on the news. This season it only snowed once in the very beginning of November, mildly. Everyone was mad or upset and that’s all we talked about the next few days. Eventually the snow disappeared and we realized the grass was still green! Some trees still had leaves! This hadn’t happened to us in Ottawa for years. For the last few years we had our first snow fall even before Halloween. So when second week of November showed no sign of a massive snow storm we all flipped out. Some started hoping and praying that it won’t snow till Christmas Eve. Talking about snow became forbidden in some weird families because it could possibly lead to jinxing this wonderful plan of having a green Christmas. And yes, I’m talking about my own weird family. As December creeped on us and it started to snow on the very first day of the month, my mom wasted no time to blame me for jinxing it. Apparently, I’m the reason why it’s been snowing since yesterday.

As we have all forgotten how to wring more happiness out of small, ordinary moments, I’m sitting here trying to stick with my winter resolution. Our entire neighborhood is totally hushed and white and clean and bright. Turns out enjoying the snow is a lot easier than giving up nagging. But I know I’ll nag as soon as I slip or fall in about 3 days when this beautiful snow becomes gross slush or ice. But for now I’m living in the moment.

It's snow time

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Bring me a cow

So much happens everyday now! I remember the time when it used to take me just a couple hours a day to learn about what’s going on in the world (mostly stuff that I wanna know about). Now that there are millions of news outlets and sites you’re just never done knowing what’s happening! The YouTube videos are the worst! It’s one after another and I can’t seem to stop. Specially the stuff that might be the least important..technically, but the most important to me. Gabrielle Union video bombed Dwyane Wade’s interview, “Better Call Saul” released teaser trailer, that damn WestJet did their awesome Christmas miracle again, Netflix announced season 3 premiere date with a teaser trailer of “House of Cards”, there’s a video going around of a little girl bringing a baby cow inside the house and playing with it, The Walking Dead aired mid-season finale with an unnecessary death of a major character. But then most deaths are unnecessary, if not all. I’m not one of those hard to please, super critical, pretending to know how it all works kinda people. Hell if it were up to me all the Starks of Game of Thrones would still be alive, making more Starks! But I think this particular Walking Dead character deserved a better death. But then again I have always been into villains than heroes so what the fuck do I know about a hero’s death. My most favorite Disney characters are Maleficent and Ursula! Doh! According to my mom that says a lot about me..and she didn’t forget to mention that it’s not a compliment.

Star Wars is coming! Anyone excited? That’s a dumb question..of course we’re all very excited! Sometimes I like to ask dumb questions, it’s a coping mechanism. But there are worse people than me! The new trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” hit the ground and apparently social media kinda lost it over Stromtrooper being played by an actor who happens to be Black (and British), John Boyega . Apparently that makes no sense! Writer Iain Macintosh tweeted “They’ll accept an alien-filled galaxy powered by ‘force’ but they’re not having a black man in uniform?” – BOOM! Aw snap. People are messed up..that’s all I can say about this whole thing. Enough about Star Wars, the movie that I really really really care about is the Jurassic World. And Cinderella. And Minions. The Spongebob Movie, Avengers 2, Pitch Perfect 2, Tomorrowland, Ant-Man! I can’t focus.

Back to the little girl bringing home baby cow video. It’s adorable. After watching this I made this hasty comment, something insane like “Maybe I’ll stop eating beef as well”..and now I regret it. Cuteness knows how to calm down, taste buds don’t. I’m so lost right now. I wanna go get a baby cow as a pet but then on my way back I wanna drop by The Works, my favorite burger place, and get my favorite burger in the whole wide world. It’s called “The notorious PIG”. That’s right, my favorite burger is called “The notorious PIG”. I should be ashamed but I am not. I’m just lost. I still want my pet friend, the baby cow but then I also want cheese stuffed burger patties. As I typed this I kinda drooled a little over my laptop. I’m a horrible person.

People are odd. I’m not.

I haven’t written in about 8 months or so. Initially the plan was to do a series on dining at Disney. But I got distracted like every other time I started doing something. Today is the last day of November 2014. As in the end of Movember starting tomorrow. As in the end of my thin mustache. I can finally do my upper lip and not catch people staring at my thin mustache when I go outside! I have been following Movember for about 3 years now and each year has been very different for me. And by different I mean the growth of my mustache. Great mustaches run in my family from my dad’s side, even for girls. But not me. I can’t even grow a decent mustache like my cousins.

I do believe in the whole writing is therapeutic bullshit and I have been suggested, recommended, advised, encouraged, forced many times but the bottom line is I’m a lazy person. And I get distracted very easily. I have commitment issues. I couldn’t even commit to wash my face 3 times a day with Proactive for my acne problems! I gave up, I learned to with live with acne, eventually all the Proactive products expired. My acne became worse and I bought new Proactive products, used them 3 times a day for two days and then Breaking Bad came on Netflix. I even set 6 different alarms on my phone to push myself. But nope…expired yet again. My point is.. this time I have promised that I’ll write something everyday. No matter how little or how insignificant. Well everything is insignificant, what I mean is I’ll write about whatever. Hell I write about my daily crap on Facebook everyday why not on WordPress – that’s what my mom said.

Is blogging still a thing? I’m so out of touch I have no idea. I guess it’s vlogging that’s more..”sassy”? Vine! Oh my god vines! How do people vine? Apparently it’s supposed to be a 6 seconds ‘long’ video? It takes me about 10 seconds to figure out if my camera is still on…so no, that’s never gonna work for me. I’ll write again tomorrow. If not, in another 8 months. I started watching Gilmore Girls last week and I’m on season 4 now and it’s pretty awesome. What I’m trying to say is I gotta get back to my show and I don’t have time (read don’t feel like) to proofread. So forgive me.

Dining at Magic Kingdom!

I haven’t written anything in a while just because I’m lazy, not because I’m busy or anything… because I’m not. At all. Also because I don’t know how to write. Even though I went to school to learn how to write and spent thousands of dollars after it – clearly I didn’t learn anything and it was just a waste of time and money just like the rest of my life.

I thought I should start writing again because my shrink said I should. And I thought food would be the perfect topic to restart because I was told for the time being I should stay away from topics that will make my blood boil. So yes Disney World finally happened for me and it was the best 12 days of my life. I’ll write about the parks another day. Today let’s focus on food because there’s nothing more important in this world than food.

We went with the quick service/counter service dining plan because a) it’s cheaper, b) with counter service restaurants you don’t have to make any reservation, c) its cheaper and I like that. I’ll mostly focus on counter service restaurants because that’s where I ate. Plenty of places to eat at Magic Kingdom. There are places that you don’t want to miss and of course there are places that you want to avoid!

Would you believe even though I had never been to Disney World before, I did enough research to be able to make specific park based itinerary on excel to only focus on where to eat and what to eat? You should, because I have mild OCD. Here’s the summarized version of my dining itinerary for Magic Kingdom. These restaurants were my first preference. Do notice how it’s color coded following the exact color codes that Disney World has in the map of Magic Kingdom. I got laughed at for this but hey I think it’s pretty cool and you won’t believe how much time and misery it saved us. Be nice to your list making, color coding friends.

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Mainstreet USA –
There’s a few sit down restaurants like Tony’s Town Square, Plaza Restaurant and Crustal Palace. If you’re on a tight budget but want decent food, hold on to your money and move on to the next section of the park.

  • The Plaza Restaurant  – Table service
  • Crystal Palace – Table Service (character buffet)
  • Tony’s Town Square Restaurant  – Table service
  • Casey’s Corner – Hot dogs and fries
  • Main Street Bakery –  Baked goods, cookies, pastries, cakes)
  • Plaza Ice Cream Parlor – Ice cream
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Chocolate cake – Main Street Bakery

According to my ‘research’, Main Street Bakery at Magic Kingdom is one of the favorite stop for many Disney bloggers and readers. And I found out why is that – because it’s awesome! When I was there they didn’t serve Starbucks drinks and food but now you’ll get it all here along with delicious Disney “home made” treats! You must have dessert at the Main Street Bakery! And that’s the only thing you should have at Mainstreet USA – dessert.

Fantasyland
The pinkest section of Magic Kingdom. This also makes it the busiest section of Magic Kingdom. It’s based on Disney classics so this place is always crowded! Eating at Fantasyland could be a little tricky and hectic because it’s always very busy. There are more choices to eat at Fantasyland compared to other sections.

  • Be Our Guest Restaurant – Counter Service at lunch, Table Service at dinner
  • Cinderella’s Royal Table – Table Service
  • Gaston’s Tavern – Counter Service
  • Pinocchio Village Haus – Counter Service
  • Storybook Treats – Snacks
  • Cheshire Cafe – Juices

Cinderella’s Royal Table has always been the most popular table service restaurant of Magic Kingdom because let’s face it, Cinderella’s castle is awesome and everyone wants to be there. Be Our Guest restaurant, based on Disney classic Beauty and the Beast is a comparatively new table service restaurant so expect huge, huge line up and long waiting period. It has a stunning ballroom though, very fancy. Gaston’s Tavern on the other hand is very refreshing! Roasted pork shank, cinnamon roll, chocolate croissant and all that could be found here. The restaurant’s signature drink is LeFou’s Brew. It’s a blend of frozen apple juice with a hint of toasted marshmallow, topped with all natural fruit foam in a souvenir goblet. Pinocchio Village Haus has pizza and wraps. I had high hopes for Pinocchio Village Haus but it was pretty disappointing, the pizza sucked! Storybook Treats is a great place to grab a cool snack – ice cream or a milk shake anyone? Cheshire Café serves lemonade slushes, strawberry swirls, and juices.

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Peperoni pizza – Pinocchio Village Haus

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BBQ chicken pizza – Pinocchio Village Haus

Tomorrowland
I liked eating at Tomorrwland at Magic Kingdom because this is where I spent most of the time. Astro Orbiter, Buzz Lightyear’s Spin, Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor, Space Mountain everything fun is right at Tomorrowland. Places to eat? Not too many.

  • Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies – Snacks
  • Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station – Counter service
  • Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe – Counter service

Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies serves ice cream and smoothies, not bad for a quick snack. For Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station the official party line is that this restaurant is open seasonally, but the truth is that it’s rarely ever open. It has a great view of Cinderella’s Castle and is a good spot to watch the wishes fireworks. At Tomorrowland, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe is the place for you to eat. Servers soup, salad, burger, and chicken and is pretty good!

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Roasted chicken – Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe

Frontierland
Not too many options here.

  • Golden Oak Outpost – Counter service
  • Pecos Bill Cafe – Counter service

Golden Oak Outpost serves freshly made (usually) chicken sandwiches, nuggets, chicken BLT, flatbread etc.  The line can get hectic here though. It’s located on the backside of Frontierland on the walkway to Adventureland. Pecos Bill Cafe has both indoor and outdoor seating. The Western theme fits right in with its Frontierland location. The pulled pork sandwich and fries are very good here. Tables are attached together and finding a place to sit can be a challenge!  It’s located right next to Splash Mountain so it’s always busy. The topping bar makes this restaurant stand out from other counter-service restaurants. Plenty of condiments to personalize your burger. Don’t expect too much though, it is after all a burger place.

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Personalized burger – Pecos Bill Cafe

 Adventureland –
This part jungle part tropical island section of Magic Kingdom has mainly snack locations that are good.

  • Tortuga Tavern – Counter service
  • Sunshine Tree Terrace – Snacks
  • Aloha Isle – Snacks

Tortuga Tavern serves Mexican cuisine – beef nachos, burrito, ceasar salad, taco salad and vegetarian burritos. The food here is pretty awful. How the taco salad works is basically they give you a tortilla shell, a scoop of pre-cooked taco meat and a package of cream cheese and you go to the condiment area and fix it up the way you want it. I’d say skip! Now the Sunshine Tree Terrace is a pretty cool place for snacks.  It features citrus specialties, such as orange slush, citrus swirl, raspberry slush, juice. It also serves iced cappuccino, espresso, chocolate chip cookies and ice cream. Aloha Isle is also good for a quick snack. The dole whip of Aloha Isle is very popular. In addition to the dole whip they also offer chocolate and vanilla soft serve ice cream.

Liberty Square –
Two locations to eat at Liberty Square with counter service dining plan.

  • Sleepy Hollow – Snacks
  • Columbia Harbour House – Counter service

Sleepy Hollow has some outdoor seating. They serve pastries caramel corn, funnel cake, waffle desserts and waffle sandwiches, cappuccino, espresso, soft drinks and soft serve ice cream. Their funnel cake is amazing! It’s a good place to catch a break in a Liberty Square.The Columbia Harbour House is a spacious restaurant that focuses on seafood. This is my favorite place to eat at Magic Kingdom. It has unique food options compared to other places and it’s right across from the Haunted Mansion. It’s a reliable and a nice change of pace from burgers. We had the shrimp basket and it was delicious. There are plenty of tables so you’ll find a place to sit down for sure.

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Shrimp basket – Columbia Harbour House

I hope this helps a fellow planner freak in a small way. I’ll try to write about the other parks or something else another time…something that won’t make my blood boil.

Thank you for reading this.

 

Growing Up Disney

Disney is more than a franchise to many people and surprisingly I’m one of them. I know a lot of Disney fans and we are lame enough to sit down and talk about how one becomes a Disney fan. Some of them told me how they used to get together as a family and dive into the wonderful world of Disney through movies and games. Others say they have visited Disneyland or Disney World since they were very young. I have been obsessed with Disney since I figured out that boys are mean and I don’t like them. My Disney mania slowly went from minor to major. By the time I turned 6, I was hooked. I think I was 3 when I watched my very first Disney movie: Cinderella. I don’t remember asking my parents to take me to Disneyland or Disney World when I was little because I knew we simply couldn’t afford it. I knew their answer would be no so there was no point asking. Disney had slowly become a synonym for luxury (which it obviously is) in my little girl brain and I knew my limits. I remember getting a small Mickey Mouse plush on my birthday from a family friend and it was probably one of the happiest moments in my childhood. I used to treat him like a sibling that I never had! One day some horrible kid disfigured my Mickey Mouse plush and I cried like it was the end of the world. It was probably one of the saddest moments in my childhood.

Image: Disboard.com

Years went by and my obsession turned into addiction. My dad went to Japan for a conference in 1997 and visited Tokyo Disneyland. The fact that my dad, the man who doesn’t know about Disney or Disneyland as much as I do, got to visit it before me and that he visited Disneyland without me just completely broke my heart. Listening to him ask me what I wanted from Tokyo Disneyland was torture! I was jealous and mad and frustrated like any other self-centered only child, who doesn’t know how to share anything with anybody. Be that a dream or a dream vacation. I still don’t know how to share happiness with anyone but anyways. Being the only child I have suffered all my life trying to keep up with my parents’ expectations. I have disappointed them in every way possible like most kids do and they have given up on me like most parents do eventually. My parents knew how to manipulate me into agreeing with them or doing things that they want me to do. After years of observation I also figured out how to manipulate them. Specially when it came to Disney. In 1998 at the age 11 or something I talked my dad into taking me to Tokyo Disneyland. We were never rich so obviously this was a huge deal for my parents. But you can’t say no to your only daughter who is always sick right? Right. (I really was sick for almost a year). My dad used to have a bike that he loved. Weeks before our trip his bike disappeared and obviously being the idiot that I am I never realized that he had sold it so that I can go to Disneyland. Which eventually made me feel like an awful person but we’ll get to that some other time.

Image: Disboard.com

My very first trip to Tokyo Disneyland taught me how to look at life differently. I don’t know how to explain it but I felt something that day. A strange combination of hope, happiness and serenity. This week marks 14 years since I took my first step into Tokyo Disneyland! So much has happened since then. My life changed in so many ways, I lost myself in so many ways. Yet one thing remains the same; my love for Disney. It’s not the “fairy tale” factor, it’s not the princesses. It’s the idea of being a happy kid.Disney has been there for me when I desperately looked for a reason to smile. Disney has been there for me in a way that taught me how to escape reality and this big bad world. Of course there are things, there are times when Disney portrays or promotes certain things in a way that I wish it didn’t. But I like to overlook all that for as long as I can and focus on the bigger picture; the things that make me happy! I know I’ll get to visit Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California someday. But I know for a fact that Tokyo Disneyland will always be my first love.

Ananta Jalil: Harmless Fun or Bullying?

I don’t know much about Bangla movies but I try to watch most of the talked about movies.  The last three Bangla movies I watched were all starred and created by Mr. Ananta Jalil. I like Ananta Jalil. He is not your typical “Hero” who speaks eloquently, who is cautious when talking about his colleagues or acquaintances or his own wife. He is the “Hero” who lacks self-awareness when it comes to his language skills and public image. His acting skills are simply horrendous, second to none in being downright ridiculous except for his public speaking skill. When talking about his audience, pretty much every single time he manages to divide them into “classes”. In multiple occasions he has spoken about his wife in demeaning and derogatory manners. Some times even while she was sitting right next to him! Being a girl myself, this is something that makes me absolutely infuriated.Yet I make sure I watch all of his interviews and movies. I’m not going to say that his movies are perfect examples of art; frankly, I think his movies are crap. Unfortunately, we love to watch crap on the screen. You can deny it but that will only  be a really bad lie. From crappy Hindi serials to Jersey Shore, from Here comes Honey Boo Boo to Ananta Jalil – apparently no one likes them and everybody makes fun of them; but in the same time millions of people are watching them every day. We have a problem with being associated with these kinds of shows or entertainers but we have no problem at all in spending time and money to watch them. Then once we are done, we get online and look cool to our friends by sharing a meme that takes a cheap shot at the stars of the shows.  It is disturbing that we love to hate people, push them around till they snap. We are living in a time where everything gets blown out of proportion. We have forgotten the concept of “letting it go” before it is too late.

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I sure have made fun of him, shared memes, and used “Pom Gana” as a punch line. And I have to admit that the next time he makes a ridiculous comment I will most likely find it funny as well. But what I don’t find funny is the fact that he’s being harassed in person in such ways that is neither acceptable in a civilized society nor well deserved. We have to admit that when we start taking Facebook memes to restaurants and insult people by calling them names while they are out with their family, there is a problem and things got a little too far. There is a difference between enjoying the presence and actions of an entertainer and bullying an entertainer. The notions of what constitutes harmless fun and what is acceptable and what is not are often separated by a fine line. What boggles my mind is the fact that some people have a problem with Ananto’s wife, actress Borsha breaking a plate after getting furious over witnessing her husband being insulted and harassed. Yet these people don’t see what’s wrong with harassing someone! Do we seriously expect her to not react when  her husband was getting bullied?  That’s how normal people react. When someone attacks their loved ones, they fight back. Can we expect Borsha to thank them for being mean to her husband and then walk away and do nothing? I have to ask myself if I would have done the same thing if someone was insulting my family.

I have also noticed some try to use another nonsensical argument – “They are celebrities, they shouldn’t have reacted such a way”. I didn’t know being harassed; insulted in a public place and not fighting back is part of “responsibilities” of being celebrities. It is true that being in the public eye, being criticized for everything they say, being scrutinized about how they walk and talk somewhat comes with the job. But being humiliated in public does not include the job description of an entertainer. Secondly, why are we always talking about holding celebrities accountable? What about us, our responsibilities as the audience? People who do not have the basic manners to share a public place with “celebrities” with minimal decency makes them the incompatible ones, not the celebrity, no matter how bad or mean they are. If one can’t have a pizza in a restaurant without being jerk to others maybe one should try “take out” instead.

Then came the “class” talk. Everyone has their own definition of “class”. Some define class by money and education, some define it by family or name or manners. In the last 15 hours I was told by at least 15 people that I probably “belong to the same class as Ananta” and that is why I am “defending” him. In order to talk about “class”, I am afraid that I have to “classify” these people first. My general experience says usually it’s the people who basically don’t belong to any “class” what so ever are more fascinated over class than anyone else. I wonder what makes someone think that they belong to a  “higher class”. Going to a private school, wearing high heels and skinny jeans, listening to Adam Lavine’s latest track and munching on Pizza while trying to take a picture of the girl sitting in the table across with their newest iphone doesn’t make someone better than other people in any way. And let’s not forget it is normally the daddy day care that is paying for all that, not the “classy” one. They should try to earn a dime on their own first without depending on daddy dearest for a change. Calling Ananta Jalil “bostir lok”, “chasha”, “chhotolok”, “rickshaw walar baccha” doesn’t make someone kin to Queen Elizabeth. On another thought, what’s wrong with being a “rickshaw walar baccha” anyways? Being a “rickshaw walar baccha” is 200 times better than being a “ghushkhorer baccha”.

I hate bullies. I have always hated bullies. And there is nothing worse than defending bullies. You can dislike Ananta and Borsha all you want but if you are defending how they were treated, you are encouraging bad behavior and making this already terrible society a worse place to live in and I truly hope your kids aren’t watching.

All this talk of getting old..It’s getting me down my love.

I’m not a big fan of birthdays. Actually, No.. I’m just not a big fan of my birthday that’s all. I used to love my birthday when I was little. It was all about getting a better and bigger cake than my friend, getting more presents than the girl next door, having a bigger party than the girl in my class because I felt like I had nothing else that would make me equal or better than those girls. And even then it absolutely did not work. By the time I turned 8 the whole hoopla about birthdays started to really annoy me. Still I had to put up with it because my dad loved to chill with his friends as much as possible and having a birthday party is a perfect excuse of having your friends over.

Eventually puberty came along and I started hating my birthday more. It wasn’t just an annoying day anymore when annoying people show up that you have to make small talk with but it also meant acnes and breakout and weird female relatives pointing out the fact that I’m turning into a “woman” (!) If I remember correctly I think on my 13th birthday party some lady asked me if I had my first period yet! I just wanted poke her eyes out and say “Are you fucking kidding me?”. But unfortunately back then I didn’t know how to say “Are you fucking kidding me”. I couldn’t wait to get old and get the fuck away from weird family friends and relatives and everything else. Getting older seemed like a solution to every problem! From having a job and earning my own money to being able to go to the market just by myself. From making my own decision to being alone. Having a cookie for breakfast, not going to school, watching a scary movie, having ice cream in the middle of the night, talking to friends over the phone for no reason whatsoever, getting my hair dyed, getting a tattoo – getting older would have made all this possible. And now that it is possible for some reason I don’t want it anymore.

Even 2/3 years ago I didn’t feel this old. Now that I have the time to think about what I have done in myself so far and realize that the answer is “nothing”, getting even older is really bothering me. I don’t know if it’s the anxiety or just the douche in me but I actually made someone send me flowers for my birthday. Just because I know too many happy people who are completely satisfied with their lives and they receive flowers on their birthday from too many people and they never forget to take a picture and share it! I guess it was just my way of feeling happy..by literally forcing someone to send me flowers! :\  that being said, I’m really happy to know that I have someone who’ll send me flowers whenever I ask just to make me feel better.

What is wrong with me? Well, we’ll talk about it another day.